98 explorer HELP!!! NEW alternator put in, mechanic says stuck in "anti theft" stealth mode **UPDATE**WAS THE STARTER -NOW BALL BEARINGS BRAKES/ROTORS | Page 2 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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98 explorer HELP!!! NEW alternator put in, mechanic says stuck in "anti theft" stealth mode **UPDATE**WAS THE STARTER -NOW BALL BEARINGS BRAKES/ROTORS

ok, i have several things going on so bare with my car ignorant azz.... last week, my car wouldnt start - jumped it, was fine.. nexr day wouldnt start, jumped it & got it about 1 mile on the way to my auto mechanic garage where it gave about 20 beeps i heard inside, then it totalky shut off. towed it to mechanic... they say its the alternator (it registered zero he said & the gauges were going crazy before it died)....
then mechanic calls me today, saying theyre stumped... the alternator was put in, battery charged but he said it wont do ANYTHING.... he said to him, its acting like its in a stealth mode, or the anti theft system is engaged, not allowing anything.. usually they put the key in drivers side door, unlock, then put in the ignition a certain way to override this... howeverrr!!! my key to the door hasnt worked since i bought this 3 yrs ago... it will go in the door lock but wont turn, so ive always used the keyless code or the main unlock in the trunk part.... so the mechanic says only ford can "reset/reprogram" the anti theft, but again this is just what he thinks is wrong... im having it put on dyno tomorrow bc theres 2 other issues....
one of those is one night 5 months ago, my horn started blaring in middle of the night.. my bro in law came over & pulled the horn relay from under the hood, which fixed the blaring horn at 3am...theres no chance the anti theft runs off that relay switch too right??? i just trying to cover all my bases....
lastly, i had a thermostat & radiator put in about 3 months ago bc it went bad... about a month ago,while adding windshield fluid, i saw the coolant & checked.. it was nearly bone dry so my bro in law filled it. so soon after those 2 being replaced gave me a bad feeling... sure enough, 2 weeks ago i check it, and its back to being very low.... i have seen zero signs of a leak - obviously, something is getting hot enough to vaporize it, is what my common sense tells me... sooo, engine? head gasket? could THIS truly be whats going on?!?! does this fit this picture?? again... i have a locksmith meeting me in AM to try to fix my key, to get it to work on the door, to see if its the anti theft system locked up- if thats not i have it ready to tow to the place who will do a diagnostics test on dyno, just thought id beg for any real legit advice from u guys who seem to be soooo smart about this on this awesome forum!! its $360 just for the tow & alternator... $100 for locksmith, then another $75 tow to the $100 dyno diagnostics test tomorrow, just to find out what it is or isnt.. its adding up quick 😔 thanks & sorry 4 the novel! just wanted to give all info. 🙏
 



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hat to say this but 1 or both of the shops may be negligent or taking advantage first off always make them show not just tell you.a good shop should have an up to dade scanner looks something like a 10 inch pad. cand do most if not all diagnostics and dont take this wrong bring a co worker or guy friend with you. ask for all parts back to look and or have them checked. and there is the sad news exploreres are one of the best trucks i driven in my job i useally was assigned new trucks or sw yearly under senurity . and the ford ranger, aerostar econoline and then my 3 explorers but the fact is they can wear out a 98 is 22 yrs old and more complicated but you want to fix what broken and warned what could fail
i wonder if any 2020 will make 10 yrs let alone over 20 but dont be cheated
thank u for that advice & trust me, im agreeing!! i did get my old alternator from the 1st shop.. that shop isnt the one im questioning, its the 2nd guys.... it only went there supposedly bc they had the dyno for diagnostics - but yet when i picked it up, really all he had was paperwork with 90 % just his handwritting on it, giving the list of things to fix... i didnt see any error codes, or anythung from that diagnostics test.. but then again, i have no idea what one looks like, or if we even get the full dyno list results?? i gave the place who has it now fixing my ball joints/sway bar, so when i pick it up monday ill make sure to take a pic of this paperwork, the astronomical quotes he gave & put it on here!! one thing this 3rd place said, was they saw where the 2nd shop charged me 2 hour and 50 mins for putting in the new starter - the starter was right at $254,the labor was just over that at either $260 or $290,one of those... this place said thats quite a long time for the starter, shoulda been an hour... grrrr, trust me! im learning lessons left & right!! 🤦🤦
one last thing!! the 2nd guys said they recharged my A/C (it quit working, only blowing hot air last summer) - he said that was normally $135 to do, but he only charged me $65....when i was driving it to this 3rd place, i tried it out & its still blowing hot air.... is this something that would have come up running that diagnostics test??? or no??? i always just thought id prob need freon or whatever fluid it is - so the fact he said he recharged it, i just assumed he got a code from the dyno, to know it just needed recharged....thx again & ill post all this paperwork, prices charged & quotes monday when i pick it up so yall can see every bit of what im sayin is 💯 legit!! lol it prob sounds crazy, but sadly its all true... thx again!
 






If you were charged money for an A/C charge and it's still blowing hot, I'd take it back to them, specify "Do not touch anything else" (lol) and I want either cold air or my money back. Do not let them just tell you that more of the A/C system needs replaced. If that is true then they never should have charged you to recharge it, and should not be trusted to do anything more to it.
 






If you were charged money for an A/C charge and it's still blowing hot, I'd take it back to them, specify "Do not touch anything else" (lol) and I want either cold air or my money back. Do not let them just tell you that more of the A/C system needs replaced. If that is true then they never should have charged you to recharge it, and should not be trusted to do anything more to it.
lol JC - yeah, do not touch anything else riiightttt?!?! 😳 id almost be like i want to watch u do anything!! i honestly dont want them doing anything!! if anything id ask for my $65 back.. i wondered why he said on phone "we charge $135,but i took of as much as i could, to get it to $65 for the AC recharge", like he was doing me a favor..... after he overcharges everuthing else by 3 times, now hes cutting me a deal?? grrr... these guys have it now & they are looking at AC after the ball joint is done, so ill know 100% tomorrow or monday when its done... ill decide then if i just chalk this up to lesson learned & let it go, or calling 2nd guy to say i at least want the $65 for AC recharge which did not work, and show him the paperwork this 3rd place will give me showing THEIR work to REALLY fix it. 👍look, i enjoy my single, independent woman stuff - buttttt times like THIS last week??? im like, life CAN be alot easier with a man around sometimes susan lol im learning, im learning!! 🤷
 






You don't need a man
You got this we are here to help

:popcorn: :usa:
 






DONALDS & CRUNCHIE THANK U SOOO MUCH FOR UR REPLIES, INFO & TIME!! the final verdict issss = it is both my upper & lower ball joints and the sway bar that is being replaced right now as we speak... i am having new brakes on, bc the left one was about 50%,but rotors are fine... theyre doing all this for $740 total with labor, muchhhh better than the $1600 the shop before gave! these guys saw his paperwork & were quite surprised.. they said something about it looked like he was outsourcing the work or parts? i dont know.. im just glad this longggg week is over... still learning life lessons in my 30s!!! 🤣🤣 thanks again for all your input, advice & info
It should be common sense, but just in case. Keep all your receipts in the same spot so when your told you need new brakes in 10 months, you can see quickly when the last time you had them done. Also, make sure you note the mileage at each repair. Brakes 10 months ago while only driving back and forth from church on Sundays or brakes 10 months ago while towing a construction trailer through San Francisco every day.
 






ok, i have several things going on so bare with my car ignorant azz.... last week, my car wouldnt start - jumped it, was fine.. nexr day wouldnt start, jumped it & got it about 1 mile on the way to my auto mechanic garage where it gave about 20 beeps i heard inside, then it totalky shut off. towed it to mechanic... they say its the alternator (it registered zero he said & the gauges were going crazy before it died)....
then mechanic calls me today, saying theyre stumped... the alternator was put in, battery charged but he said it wont do ANYTHING.... he said to him, its acting like its in a stealth mode, or the anti theft system is engaged, not allowing anything.. usually they put the key in drivers side door, unlock, then put in the ignition a certain way to override this... howeverrr!!! my key to the door hasnt worked since i bought this 3 yrs ago... it will go in the door lock but wont turn, so ive always used the keyless code or the main unlock in the trunk part.... so the mechanic says only ford can "reset/reprogram" the anti theft, but again this is just what he thinks is wrong... im having it put on dyno tomorrow bc theres 2 other issues....
one of those is one night 5 months ago, my horn started blaring in middle of the night.. my bro in law came over & pulled the horn relay from under the hood, which fixed the blaring horn at 3am...theres no chance the anti theft runs off that relay switch too right??? i just trying to cover all my bases....
lastly, i had a thermostat & radiator put in about 3 months ago bc it went bad... about a month ago,while adding windshield fluid, i saw the coolant & checked.. it was nearly bone dry so my bro in law filled it. so soon after those 2 being replaced gave me a bad feeling... sure enough, 2 weeks ago i check it, and its back to being very low.... i have seen zero signs of a leak - obviously, something is getting hot enough to vaporize it, is what my common sense tells me... sooo, engine? head gasket? could THIS truly be whats going on?!?! does this fit this picture?? again... i have a locksmith meeting me in AM to try to fix my key, to get it to work on the door, to see if its the anti theft system locked up- if thats not i have it ready to tow to the place who will do a diagnostics test on dyno, just thought id beg for any real legit advice from u guys who seem to be soooo smart about this on this awesome forum!! its $360 just for the tow & alternator... $100 for locksmith, then another $75 tow to the $100 dyno diagnostics test tomorrow, just to find out what it is or isnt.. its adding up quick 😔 thanks & sorry 4 the novel! just wanted to give all info. 🙏

One problem you mentioned that I have not seen a response to is your horn going off in the middle of the night. What's causing that is one of your door switches is bad. Even though the doors are all closed, a bad switch will make the alarm system think it is open, thus making the horn go off. You probably have a "door ajar" light that comes on for no apparent reason, and my even hear the binging that you would hear if your door opens with the key in it. There is no way to know which one it is unless you pay for a diagnostic. Most likely the drivers side door, the most used. I had this problem as well and figured out that if when you hit the remote to lock it, this also sets the alarm. Hit the open button which will unlock only the drivers door. Open it then manually lock it. your vehicle is still secured, but the alarm is not set, thus no horn going off randomly. Re-install the horn relay. If you follow this sequence, you should no longer have that problem It's not safe to have your horn not working.
 






^ Are you certain that the passive PATS2 alarm system on these will cause the horn? I don't recall ever reading that this has happened to anyone here. I admit I am ignorant of what, if any, trigger states will cause the alarm horn to go off besides hitting the panic button on the remote.

That is the only time I've ever had mine go off, apparently if the air is just right, the signal from my keyfob will make it out a window and around to my '98 and make the horn alarm go off if I have something in my pocket, bump against and depress the panic button by accident.

You can figure out which door latch switch isn't sending the correct signal by grabbing the wiring diagrams in my sig and using a multimeter to compare the open/closed switch state of each door and the liftgate. I might also try using Forscan with an OBDII dongle to see if it shows each individual door and gate open/shut switch state.
 






lol JC - yeah, do not touch anything else riiightttt?!?! 😳 id almost be like i want to watch u do anything!! i honestly dont want them doing anything!! if anything id ask for my $65 back.. i wondered why he said on phone "we charge $135,but i took of as much as i could, to get it to $65 for the AC recharge", like he was doing me a favor..... after he overcharges everuthing else by 3 times, now hes cutting me a deal?? grrr... these guys have it now & they are looking at AC after the ball joint is done, so ill know 100% tomorrow or monday when its done... ill decide then if i just chalk this up to lesson learned & let it go, or calling 2nd guy to say i at least want the $65 for AC recharge which did not work, and show him the paperwork this 3rd place will give me showing THEIR work to REALLY fix it. 👍look, i enjoy my single, independent woman stuff - buttttt times like THIS last week??? im like, life CAN be alot easier with a man around sometimes susan lol im learning, im learning!! 🤷

Have you noticed any odd things from the AC system, where the air is coming from versus where the controls are set to? The freon is not the only thing that can effect cool air coming out. These trucks(95-01) have a known potential issue with the in dash blend door. It's the small door that controls whether the air is heated, or bypassed around the heater core. So it's possible the blend door is not where it should be 100% of the time. When the hinge joint of the door breaks, the door may get stuck in one position, or it may move randomly based on the input of the blend door actuator. If the AC is set to MAX, and the blend door is allowing air to go through the heater core, the output will be warm air. Check that the dash setting matches where the air comes out, in all positions, and it doesn't come from vents it shouldn't.

The horn can be set off by an alarm, or a wiring short, which is rare of course, but also if water gets into the wiring, such as a leak onto the steering wheel.
 






^ Are you certain that the passive PATS2 alarm system on these will cause the horn? I don't recall ever reading that this has happened to anyone here. I admit I am ignorant of what, if any, trigger states will cause the alarm horn to go off besides hitting the panic button on the remote.

That is the only time I've ever had mine go off, apparently if the air is just right, the signal from my keyfob will make it out a window and around to my '98 and make the horn alarm go off if I have something in my pocket, bump against and depress the panic button by accident.

You can figure out which door latch switch isn't sending the correct signal by grabbing the wiring diagrams in my sig and using a multimeter to compare the open/closed switch state of each door and the liftgate. I might also try using Forscan with an OBDII dongle to see if it shows each individual door and gate open/shut switch state.
If the alarm is set with a double tap of the lock button(keyfob) opening a door will set it off.
 






If equipped, the OEM alarm is set by locking the doors with either the three lock buttons, or the key fob. One press locks the doors and sets the alarm. Every press of the key fob after the setting it, only makes the horn toot and attracts attention. The alarm is set at the first press of the fob button.
 






The horn relay is part of the PAT system.
so are the keys and remote. There really isn't too much need to have a dyno to diagnose car problems. A lot of red flags went up on this one. It happens all too often to women. Now that you have been hosed for all this money and gotten nowhere , The Ford dealer should be looking good to you right now. By far not the cheapest, but you would have had the truck repaired right the first time around. I did it for 30 yrs.
 






Man, not sure how mechanically inclined you are but running to a mechanic on a 20 year old explorer is going to drain the wallet. Doesn't help your mechanics seem to be a combination of either overpriced, dishonest and/or incompetent. A few points:
Let's start with the starter. I got stranded out of town had Firestone put in a starter. They put an AutoZone remanufactured which was on the receipt. They marked it up 100% (cost $130 @AZ, they charged $260 and it still was about $150 less after labor than your mechanic charged. It failed as soon as Firestone's warranty ran out. This time at home. Did it myself. Cost $130 lifetime warranty on parts.
$350 is not bad for pads and rotors by a mechanic BUT impossible to wear out either in 5000 miles. Impossible! If it's an M3 and you did a track day sure. A 98' explorer on the street, not a chance. On a side note doing this yourself: AC Delco rotors $23/each, Wagner or Bosch pads $20-40. Your literally talking $70 in parts and removing the wheel, 4 bolts per side and cleaning/greasing a few parts to change. $140 for front and rear. The theme really doesn't change for anything you mentioned: front wheel bearings $100 per side for Timken (same as Motorcraft. stamped right on the OEM) but $350-400 for a mechanic to do. The other part he was talking about are ball joints. The part is $25 a side but labor is going to be hundreds. I did my water pump. Cost $28. A shop would have charged $300-400. At this age lots of things go. Alternator is another 3 bolt job that takes maybe 20 minutes to replace. Fuel pump another $110 part, $300 labor job. I've changed everything mentioned and more over the past 2 years
In other words this is why people don't keep old cars. It's just cost prohibited if maintained by mechanics but really cost effective for the diy'er as the actual parts cost very little.
 






The horn relay is part of the PAT system.
so are the keys and remote. There really isn't too much need to have a dyno to diagnose car problems. A lot of red flags went up on this one. It happens all too often to women. Now that you have been hosed for all this money and gotten nowhere , The Ford dealer should be looking good to you right now. By far not the cheapest, but you would have had the truck repaired right the first time around. I did it for 30 yrs.
Most Ford dealers aren’t going to want to work on a second gen. They are going to charge a premium, and make that new car payment look a little more palatable.
 






Most Ford dealers aren’t going to want to work on a second gen. They are going to charge a premium, and make that new car payment look a little more palatable.
In my opinion, the dealer doesn't mean much, especially for older vehicles that they see less and less frequently. The last time I visited one, about two years ago, was for a recall on my Crown Vic headlights controller. After waiting for two hours, I was taken to a nearby car rental to get a substitute vehicle, because they could not finish that day. When I called the next day, the mechanic was still "studying the instructions". I told them to stop the nonsense and give me my car back - as is.
 






When it comes to your coolant level mysteriously dropping. It may be a head gasket leak. Check your oil, if it looks kinda like chocolate milk, it's definitely a head gasket.
As for the anti-theft system, (Ford calls it PATS) if you still have the original owners manual, inside should be a card with a five digit number on it. This is the PERMANENT keyless entry code for the number pad on the driver door. Make sure you have the key to your ignition in hand. Lock all the doors, be sure that you shut them and the red theft light is blinking on the dash. This needs to be done from outside the vehicle. Enter the five digit code into the pad on the driver's door. If entered correctly all doors will unlock. Open the door, put the key in the ignition and try to start the vehicle.
I accidentally discovered this key relearn procedure when a similar issue happened to me.
 






Have you noticed any odd things from the AC system, where the air is coming from versus where the controls are set to? The freon is not the only thing that can effect cool air coming out. These trucks(95-01) have a known potential issue with the in dash blend door. It's the small door that controls whether the air is heated, or bypassed around the heater core. So it's possible the blend door is not where it should be 100% of the time. When the hinge joint of the door breaks, the door may get stuck in one position, or it may move randomly based on the input of the blend door actuator. If the AC is set to MAX, and the blend door is allowing air to go through the heater core, the output will be warm air. Check that the dash setting matches where the air comes out, in all positions, and it doesn't come from vents it shouldn't.

The horn can be set off by an alarm, or a wiring short, which is rare of course, but also if water gets into the wiring, such as a leak onto the steering wheel.
i dont notice any change - its not super hot air that blows out of the vents, but its def nottttt anywhere close to cool - def warm, just not hot.... these last guys that had it said its prob either something like the compressor, or maybe something in the dash/theyd have to get in the dash to look at something which could be a bit time consuming... the only thing i told him that seemed to perk his interest, was this - once he said dash, i told him ever since i bought the car from my aunt, the radio only lights up (showing the channel lights & numbers ect ect) like 30% of the time... its always worked, but i just have my stations preset, bc i cant see the chanbel numvers on display - there seems to be no rhyme or reason to when it decides to light up nor not, meaning it doesnt seem positional.... when i told him that, he seemed to think that both this radio thing AND the ac stopping blowing cool MIGHT be related to the same issue... ill be taking it back to them next week, for them to look at & hopefully fix for not more than a few hundred more dollars... today is my birthday, this has been an expensive 2 weeks of $2,000 i wasnt expecting, and i got the flu tuesday!! thats why its taken me so long to post this paperwork i said i would!! that will be down below 👇 👇 on a seperate post... bc i had it towed from shop #1 to shop #2 & i paid over phone, i didnt get my paperwork from the first place (who put in the alternator for $354 including + $70 for tow) - these are from shop #2 (who i have hughly questioned on a few things), as well as shop #3 who i am completely hapoy with!! thanks 👍👍
 






sorry it took all week! had the flu on my damn birthday too.. my luck is complete sh*t right now eh? 😂😂 ok, i dont have shop #1 paperwork cuz it was towed from them to shop #2... keep in mind all shop #3 did was the upper/lower ball joints, sway bar, front brakes (a brake line broke during them bleeding brakes they replaced) - the rotors were fine which shop #2 saud they were down to nothing - and of course shop #2 recharged my AC after the "dyno diagnostics" test - which still blows warm...the 3rd shop adlso said there was a very very very minimal oil leak, but its nothing out of the ordinary for the age of the car, or problematic - just keep an eye on it. the labor being more than the starter is fishy... but i thought they put how many hours the job was.. instead of just an admount under "labor", or am i missing something...???? i just blocked out my personal info, and of vin, address.....
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The hvac and the radio display are absolutely not related. These radios have a defect that causes the displays to die. Solder joint? Not positive.

The ac is most likely to be a blend door, it’s actuator, the heater core bypass valve, and then it’s likely to get into the system itself, clogged orifice, bad compressor/clutch.
 



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Your oil should be 5w30, and not the 10w30 they used.
 






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